Conservation – How we get involved
On all our trips we try and collect as much data about the whales as possible, this includes taking fluke shots for whale identification, collecting song for analysis and recording their unique behaviour.
We are happy to provide governments, tourism bureaus and scientific organisations with our data, video footage, and photography of these amazing cetaceans and their behaviour, to help educate communities and the world about the importance of preservation of all marine mammal encounters on any of our expeditions around the world.
The Tongan Fluke Collective
The Tongan Fluke Collective (TFC) aims to utilize photographers visiting the Kingdom of Tonga and photographing Humpback whales during the breeding and calving season.
The Tongan population of Humpback whales is making a slower recovery from 20th century whaling compared to other populations in the Southern Hemisphere.
Researchers know there is some interchange by whales that visit Tongan waters with other areas in the South Pacific, and are also hopeful of building up a better picture of habitat use on the Antarctic feeding grounds.
As a professional photographer you can assist by donating your whale fluke photos to the TFC.
Clear photographs of the underside of the whale’s flukes as it dives are needed in order to see the unique patterns of light and dark, scarring, the shape of the fluke edge and the overall fluke shape.
Each fluke is different and will be added to a vast catalogue of fluke IDs from Tonga, the South Pacific, Australia and Antarctica. Photographers are given full credit for their images and will be updated if their fluke has had a match with other sightings.
Taking photographs of whale flukes may not sound very useful, but it is a non-lethal way of gathering a lot of information on an individual whale over successive years and in different locations.
Find out if you’re seeing an old friend again or welcoming a new individual from a well-known mum, by joining the TFC and assisting with knowledge-pooling on these beautiful whales.
Conservation and Gathering Data
All this information helps us learn more about the whales and helps with learning how to preserve the species.
Currently we provide Fluke ID photos to a number of organisations and are happy for any and all researchers to use our data free of charge. Check out our current fluke collection on flickr: